A Queens QDRO lawyer is the person you should speak to when there are significant pension assets to be divided in your divorce. QDRO stands for qualified domestic relations order, and it is the official piece of paper that must be incorporated after your divorce decree stipulates that one person is to receive pension benefits from the other. A domestic relations order is a specific court order to designate a portion of a retirement or a pension account to a previous spouse. Clear statutes in New York determine what happens in your case, but it’s important to follow up with the paperwork for your QDRO in order to get the retirement plan managers to pay out what is owed to you when the time comes.
Without a QDRO on the books, your divorce decree on its own, will not provide you with the necessary benefits you are entitled to. Federal law requires this additional step in the form of a QDRO to ensure that the issue that is ordered by a state divorce court doesn’t brush up with any existing provisions of the employer's retirement or pension plan. A QDRO divorce attorney in Queens can tell you more about what is involved in putting together a qualified domestic relations order and all of the unique factors you need to consider to avoid mistakes. You will need a qualified domestic relations attorney in Queens if your divorce judgment or settlement gives you any right to a portion of a former spouse's retirement benefits.
Each kind of retirement plan requires a qualified domestic relations order, including a defined contribution plan, a defined benefit plan, 401(k)s and the traditional monthly check until the recipient passes away pension. If you do not get a qualified domestic relations order, you could expose yourself to the loss of these valuable benefits. Many people assume that their divorce settlement agreement has all he or she needs to be able to reap the retirement benefits. However, this can be an expensive mistake. At the conclusion of a separation or a divorce case, the vast majority of divorce lawyers never submit the appropriate paperwork required to attain a QDRO, which means that their clients are blocked from getting these benefits. This can go on for many years and can lead to further legal action where necessary.
The first step is to ensure that your judgement or divorce settlement has the language inside that explains that you are entitled to a portion of a spouse's retirement plan. Once you know what is included in the spouse's retirement plan, your lawyer should put together a thorough agreement to verify that the existing plan provisions on those retirement accounts are complimentary to what is developed in the QDRO. A great deal of follow up and detailed focus work is required in order to receive these benefits because the plan administrator will have to certify what is listed inside the qualified domestic relations order. This paperwork can have a significant impact on your own retirement and ability to move on financially after the conclusion of a divorce, because pension benefits are typically some of the biggest in the divorce settlement overall.
This is particularly true if you and your spouse are nearing retirement and have accumulated significant retirement assets over the past several years. A lawyer who has extensive experience in qualified domestic relations orders will ensure that you get the protection and support you need when moving forward after you have been named as entitled to a portion of a former spouse's retirement plan.